Madame Masque
Madame Masque
Personal Info:
Real Name: Giuletta Kristina Nefaria
Also Known As:
Place Of Birth: Rome, Italy
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense Vol.1 97
Known Associates:
Group Affiliation: The Hood's Crime Syndicate, The Maggia
Base Of Operations: Nevada Dessert
Grudges: Iron Man
Gallery: Click
Madame Masque has no superhuman powers, but is a superb martial artist and marksman. Her primary weapon in the past was a gun that could fire either ordinary bullets or sleeping gas.
Count Luchino Nefaria, the Italian nobleman who was once the most powerful figure in the international criminal organization known as the Maggia, had long dreamed of having a son who would serve as his successor. However, Nefaria's wife Renata died while giving birth to their only child, Giulietta. Since Giulietta would now have no mother to raise her, and since Nefaria wanted to give his daughter the respectability that he himself lacked, the Count ordered the wealthy Wall Street financier Byron Frost to raise her in America as his own daughter. Frost was employed by Nefaria at that time to divert his illegal gains into legitimate investments. Giulietta grew up under the name Whitney Frost, believing Byron Frost and his wife to be her true parents. Upon the death of Byron Frost, Count Nefaria revealed to Whitney that he was her real father, and that he intended to train her to be his successor as a Maggia leader. Shocked and distraught, Whitney refused to follow Nefaria's wishes, but the Count threatened to expose her true identity claiming that she would be ostracized by everyone who knew her as a result. Indeed, when Whitney sought help from her fiancée and told him the whole story, he deserted her, fearing that association with her would ruin his political career.
Nefaria trained Whitney in criminal strategy, managing underworld operations, and combat skills, all of which she mastered brilliantly. After Nefaria was finally imprisoned for capturing Washington D.C. through his advanced weaponry and holding it for ransom, his Maggia crime family organization, now based in New York City, chose Whitney as its new leader, or Big M in underworld slang. Whitney proved to be a dedicated and capable leader, but did not involve her organization in such areas of Maggia activity as the narcotics trade. However, she had adopted her father's ambition to accumulate enough power to be able to challenge governments through force, and, to this end, led a raid on Stark Industries headquarters on Long Island to capture highly advanced technological weaponry. The raid proved a fiasco, thanks to Stark's hero identity of Iron Man, and Whitney, her identity as Big M exposed, fled in a skycraft. The skycraft crashed, nearly killing Whitney, and causing chemicals on board to be released that scarred her face. She was found by agents of the power-hungry eccentric billionaire Mordecai Midas, who hired a surgeon to save her life. Midas employed Whitney as his principal criminal operative, and, out of his obsession with gold, had her conceal her damaged face behind a golden mask. She adopted the alias of Madame Masque.